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September 10, 2001

International scientific and academic leaders in dermatology and cosmetics convened to present breaking research on ethnic hair and skin care issues. This research was presented at a symposium entitled, "Ethnic Hair & Skin: What is the State of the Science?" The conference was sponsored by the Chicago-based L'Oreal Institute for Ethnic Hair and Skin Research and the Howard University Department of Dermatology.

"This was the first time that international research, specifically focused on the hair and skin issues of Black people and other ethnic populations, was gathered under one roof and presented in a single framework," said Victoria Holloway, MD, MPH, director of the L'Oreal Institute and Chair of the symposium. "We were excited about the opportunity to bring together so many notable researchers, academicians and clinicians. This is a field in which there is room for significant breakthroughs."

"The L'Oreal Institute's goal in hosting the symposium was to further research in order to advance our understanding of the unique properties of the hair and skin of people of different ethnic backgrounds. We hope that this research and the Institute's ongoing research will educate healthcare providers and consumers about dermatological, cosmetic and grooming issues that affect people of African descent, and ultimately help improve the care, products and services they receive," she added.

Research presented at the symposium focused on the physical and biological properties of hair and skin, the clinical hair and skin problems relevant to Blacks, Latinos and Asians, and novel treatment approaches. Oral presentations covered a range of topics, including:

- Defining the Differences: Structure and Physical Properties of Hair

- Hair Follicle Biology

- Ethnic Hair Products: Development, Safety, and Efficacy

- Hair and Scalp Disorders

- Ethnic Skin: Structure and Function

- Ethnic Skin Disorders

"This event broke new ground. It brought to light new issues related to the health and well-being of millions of people in this country and worldwide," said Dr. Rebat Halder, Chairman of the Howard University Department of Dermatology and symposium Co-Chair.

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